Column by Courtney Fishman
Last week, a friend of mine told me I talk on my phone more than anyone he knows.
Maybe it’s just me, but I like talking on the phone. I enjoy the sound of other people’s voices, and I like hearing someone laugh out loud rather than reading the phrase “LOL” on my iPhone screen.
And today, our fast-paced digital lives keep us from those moments. We don’t hear those laughs, we don’t see raw emotion — instead, we replace those experiences with the standard emoji.
Now this isn’t a public service announcement against technology because I think it’s a beneficial tool, but I think it’s inhibiting face-to-face communication.
According to Pew Research, one third of 12-to-17-year-olds who were researched send upwards of 100 text messages a day.
Sure, texting and tweeting can be convenient. I constantly find myself talking to people as I send a text and simultaneously message someone on Facebook.
As much as I think multitasking can hurt socialization, it is necessary at times.
But the biggest pitfall for digital messages is simply that they’re digital. There’s no voice, there’s no intonation — just words. I find myself staring at my phone until I receive a reply solely to make sure someone understood the sarcasm in my message.
What if someone thinks I’m intentionally rude? The world of digital messages leaves a lot of what-ifs unanswered, and it leaves me uneasy.
Cellphones and computer screens are the masks of my generation. People gain confidence through the anonymity and say many things they never would in person.
I miss the personalization, the secret handshakes and the smiles.
The opportunities to connect are endless, but those should be used as a gateway for face-to-face interaction.
Want to get a hold of me? Sure, tweet me, Facebook creep or send a text — I use social media too. But when it comes to spending time with you, I’d rather we be in the same location.
Fishman is a sophomore public relations and magazines double major and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org